BREAKING: Dozens affected by ammonia poisoning in Serbia after freight train derails

Dozens affected by ammonia poisoning in Serbia after freight train derails

More than 50 people suffered ammonia poisoning after a train derailed and spilt its cargo near the city of Pirot in eastern Serbia.


Dozens of people were hospitalised in the city of Pirot in eastern Serbia this evening, Sunday, December 25, after a train carrying ammonia derailed. The 20-carriage freight train was reportedly transporting a cargo of toxic materials from neighbouring Bulgaria, according to Serbian state media.

As a result of the subsequent leak produced after the accident, a cloud of poisonous gas was given off which made people sick. The fumes were reportedly so dense that visibility was reduced on the main motorway that connects Serbia with Bulgaria. Several vehicles were involved in accidents which led the authorities to temporarily lose the road to traffic.

Vladan Vasic, the mayor of Pirot, told a news conference: “There are 51 cases of poisoning. Seven people were taken to hospital in Nis”. A statement from the Interior Ministry explained that the train derailed, causing: “the leakage of ammonia and the dispersion of a large amount of gas into the atmosphere”.

In the city of Pirot – which has a population of around 60,000 – the authorities declared a state of emergency. Residents were instructed to stay inside their homes and close all doors and windows until the emergency could be dealt with, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]